KUALA LUMPUR: The government is pushing for cheaper fares and taxes for students who are travelling by air, according to Anthony Loke Siew Fook (pix).
The Transport Minister said the ministry was currently in discussion with local airlines, particularly low-cost carriers, on the possibility of introducing a “student fare”, to ensure cheaper flight tickets for those who have to travel to other states or abroad for their education.
Loke said the government would also meet with the airport operator, Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB), soon on the prospect of reducing the Passenger Service Charge (PSC) rate.
“We always encourage airlines to offer a student fare to students of higher education institutions, to reduce the burden of their families, especially during festive periods.
“At the moment, we are holding talks with local airline companies for cheaper rates, and we will also discuss with the airport operator to see how we can reduce the PSC for students,” he told the Dewan Rakyat, here, today.
Loke said this was pertinent, particularly for those studying in Sabah and Sarawak, as the most of the students have no alternative mode of transports and are forced to take a flight either back home or to their universities.
He, however, acknowledged that it was ultimately up to the airlines and airport operator to make the final decision.
Loke was responding to questions from Alice Lau Kiong Yieng (PH-Lanang) and Abdul Latiff Abdul Rahman (PAS-Kuala Krai) on what are the steps being taken by the government to ensure cheaper airfares and taxes for local students.
The minister said he was informed by AirAsia Berhad and Malindo Airways Sdn Bhd that they were currently considering the call for a student discount, while noting that national carrier Malaysia Airlines Berhad already have a programme called MHexplorer offering special privileges for those aged 13 to 26.
As for the PSC (formerly known as the Airport Tax), MAHB currently charges RM11 for those travelling domestically, RM35 for travels to Asean countries, and RM50 for other destinations, with the exception of those departing from the main terminal of the KLIA, where passengers are charged RM73.
In addition to this, travellers also have to pay a departure levy of between RM8 and RM150 to the government, depending on the destination and the class of the flight.